A harvest that goes a long way in the lives of homeless veteransJuly 31, 2017
Legal help goes a long way for veterans at HVAFAugust 2, 2017
Eddie planned to go to college and play football after high school, but a combination of things quickly changed his mind. Edde instead joined the Marine Corps and served from 1982 – 1985 as a Marine Guard in Concord, CA. Several members of Eddie’s family has served in the military, and when his best friend from high school told him he was joining the Marines, Eddie decided to meet with a recruiter. The recruiter won him over, and the rest is history.
Eddie has always been very family oriented, and one of his favorite things about serving was the bonding he experienced. The men and women he served with became an extension of his family. “I really enjoy being able to protect my country,” said Eddie. “Which also means protecting my family.”
When he finished his service, he stayed in California for some time and worked as a security guard. Eddie then moved back to Indiana, and received warehouse and factory jobs for several years. He says he got into some trouble with the law and served time in jail. Upon Eddie’s release, he experienced difficulties finding work. “People are hesitant to hire those who have been in and out of jail,” adds Eddie.
Without work, Eddie eventually lost everything. He was sleeping in his car that no longer worked and needed repairs, and found himself in one of the shelters downtown. Eddie first heard of HVAF in 2013 through a friend. He entered HVAF’s transitional housing program and called the Donald W. Moreau, Sr. Veterans House home where he lived for over a year.
While in transitional housing, Eddie met HVAF’s Employment Coordinator, Kevin Hillman. Eddie had previous work experience in the kitchen of a couple restaurants. He’s held every position in the kitchen from dishwasher to manager. Kevin knew of an opportunity at Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indianapolis and contacted the General Manager. Within 15 minutes, Kevin received a response asking Eddie to come in for an interview. Eddie was hired on the spot, and started work the following day.
When asked where he would be without HVAF’s assistance Eddie said, “Homeless and still looking for a job at the same time.” He continued to say, “You guys have really helped me get back on my feet. I’m glad I found HVAF. Honestly, I wish I found it sooner.”